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Star Ocean: The Last Hope

Adriaan den OudenAdriaan den Ouden Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy GroundRPGamer Staff
edited March 2009 in Staff Review Blogs
I'm two hours into the game now, after getting the game two days late thanks to a delay printing the French manuals (which I usually just toss out anyways.) I'm about to sit down and put a fair bit of additional time into it, but I can give some initial impressions.

First off, I have to say... the character designs, they are... unsettling. I'm not entirely sure what it is about them. Perhaps it's the skin textures that are simply too smooth to be natural, perhaps it's the way their eyes don't seem to blink ever. But something about them just doesn't seem right, and it creeps me right out. I'm sure I'll get used to it, but I really don't like them. On the plus side, the environments are excellent. Very detailed and attractive. One unfortunate side effect is that the enemies tend to blend into the background fairly well. It can be hard to see them sometimes.

The other thing I'd like to talk about in this first update is the battle system. Holy crap. tri-Ace definitely learned their lesson from SO3. SO4 takes a step back to the basic design of SO2 (and SO1FD), but updates it for full 3D, making it more involved and more engaging. Skills are once again activated by the trigger buttons (so no more pressure sensitive crap), but they can still be linked directly and smoothly into normal attack combos. The best new aspect of the battle system, though, is the B button, which is something I always want in action RPGs but I very rarely get.

Dodge! Hold the B button and press the left analog stick in any direction and your character will dodge out of the way. It's extremely fast and makes combat a lot more interesting as it's much easier to evade attacks. The B button also plays into a new feature to the combat system called Blindsiding. By holding the B button down for roughly a second instead of dodging right away, the player can then time his dodge to coincide with an enemy starting his attack, which activates a slow-mo effect in which the character runs behind the enemy. At that point, for a few seconds every attack the player lands will be a critical hit.

There are some other features, but that's the meat of what gets used in most encounters. I've only seen a very small bit of the item creation system, but expect some talk on that in my next update. From what I've seen, it looks like it's going to be very good.

02/27/2009 - 10:45

Alright, let's talk about Item Creation, one of the things the Star Ocean series is well known for. I've only played around with it very lightly, but from what I can see, this system takes the best of SO3 and combines it with the best of SO2 to make for an easy to use item creation system that I expect is going to be very, very useful.

First, a comparison of SO2 and SO3's systems. In SO2, you use skill points earned when you level up to increase crafting skills, which in turn allows you to use item creation to turn base materials into various items. What items were created were, in many ways, fairly random, but it was an effective, simple system, although the low success rate in some cases made it annoying. In SO3, every character had a set skill level in each of the different types of item creation. By putting them on an inventing line, a random cost would be chosen which corresponded to a massive list of possible items, and the game would deduct money as it attempted to make the items. This system was extremely irritating due to it being poorly explained by the game, as well as the inherent randomness involved and the inability to see how difficult what you were attempting to create was before starting. The success rate was also brutally low for high-end items, which lead to a lot of reloading.

SO4 takes some of the good ideas from SO3 and combines them with SO2. Specifically, inventing and actual item creation have been separated, and the effect is wonderful. There are now two parts to item creation: Recipe creation, and item creation. Recipe creation resembled SO3's crafting system. Each character has a set skill level in each of the different forms of crafting, and by putting them on inventing lines, they will create new recipes. So far the success rate seems extremely high, which is nice, although I expect it may become more difficult as the game progresses. The game is a bit kinder now, however, as you don't need to select any kind of specific cost to start creating recipes. If the characters are able to create a recipe, they'll create it, and continue creating new recipes until they're out of ideas. The cost for creating recipes is Party SP, which is earned after every battle as well as by opening chests and interacting with various things throughout the game. The cost seems to be 1 Party SP per revolution of the timer, so it's not particularly devastating. The party SP can also be used to develop character skills, however, so it has other uses besides IC, which will probably make it a bit of a balancing act.

The second half of the new IC system is item creation itself, which is in some ways simpler and other ways more frustrating. First of all, once you have a recipe, you can create that item as long as you have the necessary ingredients. This diverges a bit from previous games, as it means you'll need to collect the appropriate materials in order to make an item, which, unfortunately, makes mass production a bit more difficult. On the plus side, however, item creation has a 100% success rate. If you have the ingredients and attempt to make an item, it will be successful, guaranteed. In order to make an item you have a recipe for, a character needs to have the appropriate item creation skill at a high enough level to do so, and I expect the higher the skill, the better the recipes they can come up with in Recipe Creation as well.

The only thing I'm a bit peeved at is that, like SO3, item creation can only be performed at specific locations. SO2 allowed you to create items anywhere, which made it very easy to work with. It's a bit of an irritation, but not that bad, I suppose.

Hope that sheds some light on the IC system for those who were curious.

02/27/2009 - 11:15

I never thought it could be possible, but Lymle is both creepy AND annoying. Not as annoying as Rico and Rucha from Infinite Undiscovery, but still. Annoying. She does have some amusing moments, mostly when she's leaving Faize out to dry. What irks me is that she obviously has a personality, and yet the actor is playing her like a zombie. It's awful.

I'd like to say something to tri-Ace and all Japanese RPG developers out there on the topic of exploration. I get it, you're trying to create a great big open world to explore. That's good. RPGamers have been clamoring for that to return since 3D games on the PS2 changed how things work. But here's the thing: exploration only works if there's something to find. Great big open worlds are pointless if they're EMPTY. A handful of treasure chests scattered around doesn't cut it. Want to know why western open world games are so successful? Because there's stuff to find! Look at Fallout 3. Everywhere you go there are weird nuances to discover and buildings to explore. SO4 is just great, big, open, empty fields that serve no other purpose than to make you run a lot more than you should have to. Even the dungeons are freaking massive. Sometimes smaller is better. Just keep that in mind.

03/01/2009 - 15:20

There is an adorable, blue-haired cat-girl in SO4 that may or may not be from Roak. That is all.

03/01/2009 - 22:30

So, after about 19 hours of playtime I reached the second disc, and have now been exploring that for roughly 3 more. At this point, I feel like I'm far enough into the game to talk about the story a bit.

First of all, no matter what you might hear, the story isn't actually that bad. Yes, it is horribly over-acted for the most part, and the dialogue can be quite awful for a lot of it, but at other times it can also be quite well-done. However, despite these issues, the plot is actually something of a highlight. tri-Ace seems to have taken criticisms of the first three games' storylines to heart, and they've done their part to create a true science fiction story. Before the first disc was done, I'd already visited five different planets, and with any luck, the second disc will bring some more to the table as well. The planet I've reached now appears to be a fair bit larger than the others I've been too, but hopefully I'll be taking off into space again and visiting some more worlds.

In a way, with all this planet-hopping, the game feels sort of like an episode of Star Trek. That series also regularly took place on unexplored planets, and Star Ocean 4 has the same sort of appeal to it. At least one of the planets visited didn't seem to further the plot any other than to give the main character motivation to change his behavior, which was a bit weird, but regardless, it was an entertaining distraction and did help to flesh the characters out a bit. So far it seems to be a pretty typical JRPG cast - a small handful of interesting, dynamic characters supported by copious numbers of static ones.

Honestly though, it's very difficult to forgive the poor writing and acting. Hell, even the remakes of SO1 and SO2 had better dialogue, and the former at least had better acting. This is going to be an interesting game to review, that's for sure.

03/04/2009 - 12:45

I have eight characters in my party now, and with that comes full access to all eight areas of crafting. I've already discussed the main form of item creation, but a new form has opened up now, one that fans of SO3 will be well familiar with. Synthesis.

They nailed it. That's all I can say. Synthesis is pretty much as perfect as it can or ever will get now. For one thing, there's no longer massive Fol costs or hard-to-find Synthesis materials needed, which means the player is free to experiment all he wants. Furthermore, pretty much EVERYTHING has some kind of factor you can transfer over. Even seemingly worthless items and potions that have absolutely no apparent practical value might contain really useful factors when using them for synthesis. Even the age-old staple Blueberries has a factor that can be added to a weapon, armor, or accessory (and yes, you can use synthesis on accessories now too) The only downside, unfortunately, is that 1) you can't stop the synthesis process part way, making it slightly less easy to discard worthless factors at the end of an item, and 2) there are only 4 factor slots (although somehow I get the feeling another 4 are going to open up at some point.)

However, with virtually no restrictions on the synthesis process, I'm able to create significantly boosted experience just by using the trash items I happen to have collected. It also makes experimenting with the crappier recipes in the other areas of crafting more worthwhile, as they might have helpful factors that can be applied as well.

Now, I feel the need to express my fury at tri-Ace for making crafting so damn difficult in SO4. Not in terms of mechanics, because once you get going it's very easy. The problem is that it can only be done on the Calnus, and with the game's massive environments, it means that crafting is really only available in-between planets. When you set down on a planet and start exploring, it's way too much of a hassle to run all the way back to the ship just to make a few items. They really should have made it more accessible, but I expect that eventually there's going to be a faster method of returning to the ship. At least I hope so.



Maybe I'll log out and check my e-mail or something...

Comments

  • JoaqenixJoaqenix Member Full Members
    edited February 2009
    ugh I want to play this sooo badly. I have a feeling its going to consume my weekend. I'd agree with you on the character designs, just from seeing them in videos so far. They just look kinda creepy...children of the corn-ish. The battle system does look great.

    Question: Do you actually play the game in the first two hours or just watch it like in SO3? biggrin.gif

    Also, does the game have as cheesy dialogue as X-Play criticized it for? They showed some really ridiculous lines in their review. And lots of funny perverted double entendres. They still gave it a 4 out of 5 though. The battle system looks insanely fun.
  • TriaTria Member Full Members
    edited February 2009
    Star Ocean 4 makes me miss Star Ocean 3.

    I hate Star Ocean 4. I'm late in Disc 2, and I still don't give a crap about anything that's going on. The battle system is great (except against bosses), but everything else is fairly lame. I don't mind the "creepy" character designs, because, well...tri-Ace has been giving us marionette-like characters since Star Ocean 3.

    And the field camera is awful. Ever since Mario 64, I always imagine a Lakitu driving the camera in every game. Well, in Star Ocean 4, this Lakitu must have a severe case of epilepsy.

    And the music is so...lazy. I guess Sakuraba put all his effort towards Infinite Undiscovery's awesome soundtrack, or couldn't find inspiration. It makes me appreciate Star Ocean 3's originality even more.

    Anyways, I hate Star Ocean 4. Hope to get it over with fast so I can go back and finish Infinite Undiscovery's achievements, which I am enjoying greatly.

    I still prefer Star Ocean 3's battle system, though. But that's mainly because of MP death and the Fury system. Had SO4 had at least the Fury gauge, then I would be enjoying it even more.



    Recently Finished RPGs:

    Resonance of Fate - 4.5/5
    Tales of Graces (Import) - 2/5
    Ys VII (Import) - 2.5/5
    Final Fantasy XIII - 3/5
    Nier - 1.5/5
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited February 2009
    I wish this game was being released in PAL territories in February. We have to wait 'till April.

    @Omega- How's the story so far? Is the protagonist as annoying as Fayt?
    Lusipurr.com: One man's monument to himself!
    9 out of 10 Dentists recomend UNDERBOOB!
  • Adriaan den OudenAdriaan den Ouden Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2009
    I wish this game was being released in PAL territories in February. We have to wait 'till April.

    @Omega- How's the story so far? Is the protagonist as annoying as Fayt?
    The story hasn't really picked up any yet. I'm still very early in the game so it's hard to judge any of the characters or story at this point. The dialogue hasn't been awful so far, but it hasn't been great either.
    Maybe I'll log out and check my e-mail or something...
  • Adriaan den OudenAdriaan den Ouden Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2009
    *updated*
    Maybe I'll log out and check my e-mail or something...
  • pcaballepcaballe Member Full Members
    edited February 2009
    This Star Ocean feels more like a true successor to the second one than anything else. The third one had an...odd story, clunky battles, and a horrible item creation. This star ocean is just like Omegabyte said, an almost perfect blend of 1 and 2 with an engaging combat system and story. I don't really get Faize's attention trip for Edge though...
    “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”
    -Einstein
  • Adriaan den OudenAdriaan den Ouden Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2009
    *updated*
    Maybe I'll log out and check my e-mail or something...
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited February 2009
    Yes bigness for the sake of being big = fail.
    Lusipurr.com: One man's monument to himself!
    9 out of 10 Dentists recomend UNDERBOOB!
  • MonCapitan2002MonCapitan2002 Avatar Captured Full Members
    edited March 2009
    02/27/2009 - 11:15

    I never thought it could be possible, but Lymle is both creepy AND annoying. Not as annoying as Rico and Rucha from Infinite Undiscovery, but still. Annoying. She does have some amusing moments, mostly when she's leaving Faize out to dry. What irks me is that she obviously has a personality, and yet the actor is playing her like a zombie. It's awful.

    I'd like to say something to tri-Ace and all Japanese RPG developers out there on the topic of exploration. I get it, you're trying to create a great big open world to explore. That's good. RPGamers have been clamoring for that to return since 3D games on the PS2 changed how things work. But here's the thing: exploration only works if there's something to find. Great big open worlds are pointless if they're EMPTY. A handful of treasure chests scattered around doesn't cut it. Want to know why western open world games are so successful? Because there's stuff to find! Look at Fallout 3. Everywhere you go there are weird nuances to discover and buildings to explore. SO4 is just great, big, open, empty fields that serve no other purpose than to make you run a lot more than you should have to. Even the dungeons are freaking massive. Sometimes smaller is better. Just keep that in mind.
    I have to agree with this sentiment here. As much fun as this game is, I am a tad annoyed that there isn't much stuff to find in those large spaces. However, for me it is a minor complaint.

    I do have one other complaint, though. I happen to think that quite a bit of the voice acting falls flat. So far into the game, none of the voices stand out (<span class="spoiler">I am on the second planet</span>). I think it is a shame. Still, I would rather have flat English voice acting that the original Japanese (which I wouldn't even be able to understand).



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    Please help my city grow. Estharopolis - Population | Industry | Transportation | Security | Environment | Business
  • Adriaan den OudenAdriaan den Ouden Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2009
    02/27/2009 - 11:15

    I never thought it could be possible, but Lymle is both creepy AND annoying. Not as annoying as Rico and Rucha from Infinite Undiscovery, but still. Annoying. She does have some amusing moments, mostly when she's leaving Faize out to dry. What irks me is that she obviously has a personality, and yet the actor is playing her like a zombie. It's awful.

    I'd like to say something to tri-Ace and all Japanese RPG developers out there on the topic of exploration. I get it, you're trying to create a great big open world to explore. That's good. RPGamers have been clamoring for that to return since 3D games on the PS2 changed how things work. But here's the thing: exploration only works if there's something to find. Great big open worlds are pointless if they're EMPTY. A handful of treasure chests scattered around doesn't cut it. Want to know why western open world games are so successful? Because there's stuff to find! Look at Fallout 3. Everywhere you go there are weird nuances to discover and buildings to explore. SO4 is just great, big, open, empty fields that serve no other purpose than to make you run a lot more than you should have to. Even the dungeons are freaking massive. Sometimes smaller is better. Just keep that in mind.
    I have to agree with this sentiment here. As much fun as this game is, I am a tad annoyed that there isn't much stuff to find in those large spaces. However, for me it is a minor complaint.

    I do have one other complaint, though. I happen to think that quite a bit of the voice acting falls flat. So far into the game, none of the voices stand out (<span class="spoiler">I am on the second planet</span>). I think it is a shame. Still, I would rather have flat English voice acting that the original Japanese (which I wouldn't even be able to understand).
    I definitely agree here, although I'd say it's roughly 50/50. It seems to be becoming a Star Ocean tradition, as the remakes and SO3 also had some decent and some awful VA. Edge, Faize, and Bacchus are all quite good (I'm not 100%, but Bacchus sounds like the guy who played Mustang in Full Metal Alchemist), when the dialogue is written decently at least. Even they can't save some of the horrible lines. Lymle is awful, unfortunately. Reimi has some good moments, but for the most part it seems overdone.
    Maybe I'll log out and check my e-mail or something...
  • MonCapitan2002MonCapitan2002 Avatar Captured Full Members
    edited March 2009
    Yest, there certainly has been some cheesy dialogue. The dialogue certainly isn't on par with Final Fantasy XII or Dragon Quest VIII's voice acting. At least it isn't completely awful.

    Off Topic Aside: Susan Sarandon is totally awesome as Queen Nerissa in Enchanted.
    LordBilbanes.png
    Please help my city grow. Estharopolis - Population | Industry | Transportation | Security | Environment | Business
  • Adriaan den OudenAdriaan den Ouden Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2009
    Yest, there certainly has been some cheesy dialogue. The dialogue certainly isn't on par with Final Fantasy XII or Dragon Quest VIII's voice acting. At least it isn't completely awful.

    Off Topic Aside: Susan Sarandon is totally awesome as Queen Nerissa in Enchanted.
    Well those two games used a more formal style of voice acting. SO4 uses anime-style voice acting, which is generally over the top. Unfortunately, the graphics REALLY don't support it very well. The facial expressions and animations just don't fit. SO3 still had the anime style to it, so the goofier stuff with Roger or Adray worked well. I just watched a private action with Bacchus, Edge, and Welch, and it was obvious they were going for an anime style, but the graphics just didn't work with it. It was distracting.
    Maybe I'll log out and check my e-mail or something...
  • RebochanRebochan Who needs Rinoa anyway? Full Members
    edited March 2009
    Argh...I just knew Lymle was going to be obnoxious. Her English voice in the trailers was really grating.
    "One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings." -- Diogenes
  • TriaTria Member Full Members
    edited March 2009
    What bothers me most about SO4 is the music. Seriously, other than the battle theme, it is incredibly lazy. Maybe Sakuraba wasted all his energy on Infinite Undiscovery, I don't know, but the music is so unremarkable. I can't even remember any songs from Star Ocean 4, other than the remakes from previous SO games.

    Other than that and the horrible characters, story, and writing, I don't mind it all too much. Certainly not the game I was hoping for, and I hate the Item Creation (give me actual item creation in the vein of SO1 and 2 next time please...not Recipe Creation), it's not too bad of a game.

    The large landscapes don't bother me too much. I just hate how far the camera pans out if you want a decent view. It just makes you feel way too small. I don't get why they didn't just use the camera system from IU, where you can look anywhere, which felt perfectly fine to me. It certainly would have fixed the camera seizures.
    Recently Finished RPGs:

    Resonance of Fate - 4.5/5
    Tales of Graces (Import) - 2/5
    Ys VII (Import) - 2.5/5
    Final Fantasy XIII - 3/5
    Nier - 1.5/5
  • Options
    edited March 2009
    I don't come into topics like these with the intention of being negative... but I simply cannot play this game anymore. I ended up putting it on playswitch.com, and will likely sell it within the week... at a net $10 loss, but it's better than Gamestop, I suppose... angry.gif

    I recently finished the part where you <span class="spoiler">escape the alternate-universe Earth with the catgirl</span>, and the writing is quite literally beginning to drive me mad. The scene directly after with Edge is just so horribly overacted that I began to feel disgusted at myself for playing this tripe. I finished Disc 1 to see if it grew on me, but it only made the situation worse...

    EDIT: In retrospect, however, I'm beginning to think my expectations were unfair to begin with. Maybe I was expecting quality beyond SO's grasp... For those with broad experience with SO, is this the norm for the series? Are they all written on the level of your typical Saturday morning cartoon?

    EDIT2: For me personally, this opens up another issue entirely: Do the JRPGs I've been playing lately just plain old suck? Or have my tastes changed so radically in the past few years that I just can't stomach the stuff anymore? I'm leaning toward the latter, but if that is true, then I need to start looking for a new favorite genre. Or just restrict my purchases to known quantities like Final Fantasy and rare exemplars like Persona.



  • Adriaan den OudenAdriaan den Ouden Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2009
    *updated*
    Maybe I'll log out and check my e-mail or something...
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited March 2009
    Wow I had hoped Star Ocean for would be better liked then this. I'll still get it but I guess I'll have to wait a little longer for the first classic of this generation.
    Lusipurr.com: One man's monument to himself!
    9 out of 10 Dentists recomend UNDERBOOB!
  • ClixClix Former Listmaster Full Members
    edited March 2009
    So, I'm still playing SO1 for the PSP (restarted to get that Erys subplot!), and I keep wandering if I want to play the others... I know I won't play SO3 (just doesn't sound like my kind of thing at all), but I'm still not sure about SO2 or SO3. Why does it seem like they put some of the most production values and localization values in a remake of the first title...?
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited March 2009
    It's good to hear that some elements of the plot are interesting even if the dialogue is terrible. Actually a few of the reviews from the commercial sites have also said as much.

    @Clix- Star Ocean 2 is actually quite good, easily better than 1 and 3.
    Lusipurr.com: One man's monument to himself!
    9 out of 10 Dentists recomend UNDERBOOB!
  • JoaqenixJoaqenix Member Full Members
    edited March 2009
    I'm only at about 13 hours so far, but I'm really enjoying the game. Lymle's is the only voice actor who is really grating, which I blame on the actor and not the script like the reviewer mentioned. The character actually seems like she could be lovable, if not for the creepy line-reading. But I haven't picked up Boobs McGee and the winged-girl, and I think those are the ones who are supposed to have the most grating voices?

    Anyays, the story hasn't advanced too far for me yet. I've spent a LOT of time in dungeons, which are fairly massive. Advice to anyone who hasn't started yet: be prepared to set aside like 2 hours before beginning a dungeon, as they're all very lengthy so far. That said, the battle system is incredibly fun. It can't be said enough. No matter how annoying some of the voices get, I seriously can't say enough about the battle system, its that fun. With the blindsides, guarding, etc. its not just "attack attack special" over and over. Its great how you can switch between all the characters too (*cough* Infinite Undiscovery *cough*) which keeps it fresh, as each of the characters play totally differently.

    Also, can someone please let me know what game I keep hearing Faize from? Is his voice Capell's voice from Infinite Undiscovery? I know Faize's actor was just in something and its driving me crazy trying to figure out who.
  • TriaTria Member Full Members
    edited March 2009
    It's Capell's voice from IU.

    Which really bugs me, because whenever I hear that voice, I keep thinking it's the main character talking. laugh.gif
    Recently Finished RPGs:

    Resonance of Fate - 4.5/5
    Tales of Graces (Import) - 2/5
    Ys VII (Import) - 2.5/5
    Final Fantasy XIII - 3/5
    Nier - 1.5/5
  • Adriaan den OudenAdriaan den Ouden Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2009
    *updated*
    Maybe I'll log out and check my e-mail or something...
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited March 2009
    They nailed it. That's all I can say. Synthesis is pretty much as perfect as it can or ever will get now. For one thing, there's no longer massive Fol costs or hard-to-find Synthesis materials needed, which means the player is free to experiment all he wants. Furthermore, pretty much EVERYTHING has some kind of factor you can transfer over. Even seemingly worthless items and potions that have absolutely no apparent practical value might contain really useful factors when using them for synthesis. Even the age-old staple Blueberries has a factor that can be added to a weapon, armor, or accessory (and yes, you can use synthesis on accessories now too) The only downside, unfortunately, is that 1) you can't stop the synthesis process part way, making it slightly less easy to discard worthless factors at the end of an item, and 2) there are only 4 factor slots (although somehow I get the feeling another 4 are going to open up at some point.)

    However, with virtually no restrictions on the synthesis process, I'm able to create significantly boosted experience just by using the trash items I happen to have collected. It also makes experimenting with the crappier recipes in the other areas of crafting more worthwhile, as they might have helpful factors that can be applied as well.
    But will this much improved synthesis later become gamebreakingly exploitable?
    Lusipurr.com: One man's monument to himself!
    9 out of 10 Dentists recomend UNDERBOOB!
  • Adriaan den OudenAdriaan den Ouden Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2009
    They nailed it. That's all I can say. Synthesis is pretty much as perfect as it can or ever will get now. For one thing, there's no longer massive Fol costs or hard-to-find Synthesis materials needed, which means the player is free to experiment all he wants. Furthermore, pretty much EVERYTHING has some kind of factor you can transfer over. Even seemingly worthless items and potions that have absolutely no apparent practical value might contain really useful factors when using them for synthesis. Even the age-old staple Blueberries has a factor that can be added to a weapon, armor, or accessory (and yes, you can use synthesis on accessories now too) The only downside, unfortunately, is that 1) you can't stop the synthesis process part way, making it slightly less easy to discard worthless factors at the end of an item, and 2) there are only 4 factor slots (although somehow I get the feeling another 4 are going to open up at some point.)

    However, with virtually no restrictions on the synthesis process, I'm able to create significantly boosted experience just by using the trash items I happen to have collected. It also makes experimenting with the crappier recipes in the other areas of crafting more worthwhile, as they might have helpful factors that can be applied as well.
    But will this much improved synthesis later become gamebreakingly exploitable?
    If you haven't learned by now that breaking the game with item creation is what Star Ocean is all about, then you shouldn't be playing the games anymore. Hell, becoming stupidly powerful is half the fun! biggrin.gif

    I expect there will be some retardedly powerful items you can create to synthesize eventually (and the ultimate weapons you can craft definitely look pretty retardedly powerful as a base... iirc Meracle's has something like 4400 base attack power), but since IC requires materials, I doubt it'll be as EASY to exploit as it was in SO3 (which, to be fair, was only easy to exploit if you had a guide to tell you how. That random number system was complete BS)

    The ultimate weapons, though, also seem to require certain items that I expect will only be acquirable in the bonus dungeon from certain bosses. Gabriel Celesta's Feather and Ethereal Queen's Feather are two such items.
    Maybe I'll log out and check my e-mail or something...
  • ZelgodesZelgodes A Mastermind!? Full Members
    edited March 2009
    But... has anyone else noticed that if you slap a shoulder cape on Edge, he's Lyner Barsett?
  • Adriaan den OudenAdriaan den Ouden Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2009
    Just finished the game.

    Expect a review within the next few days.
    Maybe I'll log out and check my e-mail or something...
This discussion has been closed.